Announcing the Working Group on Advanced STEM in Cleantech

Work on Climate is excited to announce the launch of the Working Group on Advanced STEM in Cleantech, a collaborative initiative bringing together over 30 stakeholders from a variety of sectors across New York and New Jersey. Our main goal? Fill the urgent gap for diverse skilled workers in the cleantech field to speed up the delivery of solutions to fight climate change. By joining forces, we aim to bridge the STEM talent gap in this region, as well as provide a blueprint for the workforce transformation in other sectors and regions.

Our Purpose 

Over the next ten months, a diverse group representing employers, educational institutions, government agencies, professional associations, funders, and more, will work together in coordination by Work on Climate. We’re setting out to tackle the big challenges stopping the growth of the talent pool we need in Advanced STEM for cleantech applications. To do so, we’ll work together to learn and make strategic decisions that drive impactful change, outlined below in our key activities. This group will also act as a model for how we can solve other related climate workforce challenges in regions across the United States.

Key activities of the working group include:

  • Mapping out the existing barriers to equitable careers and education pathways for Advanced STEM roles in climate.
  • Digging into the kinds of policies, programs, and practices that can make those paths smoother and more accessible.
  • Developing solutions to see what works best to open up those paths and taking action to refine those ideas.
  • Planning out pilot projects for 2025 to further address the talent gap. 

Our recent research report of more than 1,500 Americans found that, even among the climate-concerned workforce, a startling 64% feel uncertain about how their skills fit into climate jobs. It’s just as notable that people do not identify a lack of energy or interest in learning new skills — many truly just don’t know what type of training they would need. Addressing these skill gaps, then, is a crucial component to broaden the climate workforce.

Who’s In?

The Working Group is made up of over 30 leaders from New York and New Jersey, spanning businesses, education, government, and beyond. These are organizations and people committed to making a positive impact toward a cleaner economy. As members, they’ll get to shape the future of our region’s Advanced STEM workforce through meaningful outputs like landscape analyses, design briefs, and project plans.

Group members include:

What’s the Plan?

The Working Group’s aim is to make coordinated changes at every level of the STEM pipeline, increasing access for all to great-paying climate-focused STEM careers. Our first big task will be figuring out the main obstacles to these careers in our region.

Considering the key activities above, the Working Group will build trust, share knowledge, and take action together to remove barriers blocking the growth and increased diversity of Advanced STEM talent in New York and New Jersey.

How The Working Group Began

During Climate Week NYC 2023, Work on Climate brought together over 40 stakeholders from different sectors to explore what is needed in the Advanced STEM workforce. A big takeaway? We need more hands on deck, and those hands need to be more diverse: more than 75% of workshop attendees stated so. That’s where this Working Group comes in — as our way to answer the call through collaboration across sectors.

“With recent policy advances, a transition to the green new economy is in full swing, but our workforce infrastructure has been lagging far behind its needs,” said Eugene Kirpichov, Executive Director of Work on Climate. “The establishment of the Working Group on Advanced STEM in Cleantech is a critical first step to bringing our workforce systems up to par.”


There’s a growing demand for skilled professionals needed to push the United States into a clean economy: electrochemists, mechanical engineers, microbiologists, and more. The Working Group on Advanced STEM in Cleantech is here to supercharge the growth and diversity of the cleantech talent pool in New York and New Jersey. Through collaborative learning and coordinated action, we’re on a path to deploy climate solutions faster and more fairly, helping pave the way for a cleaner, brighter future.

Work On Climate